Google Play Music Adds an Option to Stop Automatic Playback

There are times in which you connect a Bluetooth device to your smartphone or tablet and find out that Google Play Music, Pandora, or Soundcloud automatically starts music playback. This can be annoying for some people so we wrote up a method using ADB or Tasker that would let you disable this automatic playback feature that is built into so many devices. Some haven’t had success with that method, but thankfully for those of you with Google Play Music there’s now a built in feature to stop this annoyance from ever happening.

This new toggle can be found in the settings of the Google Play Music app. It’s called “allow external devices to start playback” and when it is disabled, then Play Music will no longer automatically start music playback when you connect your phone to your headphones or Bluetooth device.

So why does this happen in the first place? It’s because Google Play Music on your phone is still registered as the last media button receiver app, so when you connect some external devices such as your Bluetooth car kit to your phone, a media play event is sent to the currently registered media button receiver (Play Music). This is a behavior of your Bluetooth device itself, which in many cases cannot be disabled.

Thankfully with this new option we can at least disable automatic playback in Google Play Music upon connecting to a Bluetooth device. We would hope that the Android OS would get a toggle to disable such a thing system wide, that doesn’t seem like it will ever be the case though application developers will need to add this toggle into their application if they want to let the user disable it.

We are very appreciative that Google added this feature to Google Play Music, and it appears to be rolling out to Google Play Music users via a server-side switch, as some of our colleagues on the latest version of the application cannot find this feature in the app.

Thanks for the tip mhaxx!